Communal harmony


Thousands of communal riots have taken place in the country since the attainment of Independence in 1947. The earlier suspicion that communal discord was caused by the British rulers in pursuance of their policy of ”divide and rule” has proved partially obsolete. It is true, however, that the British Government sowed the seeds of disharmony among various communities. Factional demands were encouraged and all efforts to bring the Hindus and Muslims together were purposely thwarted to consolidate foreign control. Communalists of various shades and categories have consistently harped on the differences and encouraged divisive trends. This has been especially noticeable in the highly sensitive and vulnerable regions where the timber had only to be ignited by a matchstick; the ash remains hot. Even a minor and an apparently innocuous harmless incident has sufficed to arouse a communal passion and provoke rioting. The habitual offenders, the anti-social elements that thrive on disorder, the selfish politicians and others of their class are, however, incorrigible. They revert to disruptionist tactics wherever there is an opportunity. The call of religion in danger often proves irresistible to the illiterate masses. Such tactics of mischievous exploitation queer the pitch for those who draw up high – sounding programmes for promoting communal harmony in the country.
Indian culture has encouraged a continuous synthesis even when it confronted with contrary philosophies. The desire to absorb and assimilate has persisted and it accounts for its survival over the centuries. The pity is that Indians, by and large, have forgotten the teachings and percepts of our saints and sages. Promotion of harmony is the most important duty of each true citizen. The country’s salvation depends upon it. Harmony is creative, disharmony is essentially destructive. If the nation wishes to make sound progress and consolidate its gain the social, economic, political and scientific spheres, harmony has to be ensured all round, not only as a transitory phase but as a permanent feature of life.
Ashutosh Khanna